Tag Archives: elk

‘Great Victory … For Elk And Elk Habitat’: OHA On US Judge’s Ochoco NF Trail Decision

THE FOLLOWING IS AN OREGON HUNTERS ASSOCIATION PRESS RELEASE

A U.S. District Court Judge in Portland today upheld the August findings of a Pendleton Magistrate Judge, siding with the Oregon Hunters Association (OHA) and other groups who filed suit to stop the U.S. Forest Service from building an additional 137 miles of off highway vehicle (OHV) trails in critical elk habitat on the Ochoco National Forest.

(JIM WARD, OHA)

District Judge Marco Hernandez adopted the findings of Magistrate Judge Patricia Sullivan, who on Aug. 27, ruled for OHA on four of the five claims made against the project. Finding that the Forest Service made an “arbitrary and capricious” decision to approve the project, she recommended that the Record of Decision be set aside. The judge’s decision essentially kills the project unless the Forest Service goes back to the drawing board.

OHA, a nonprofit group of more than 10,000 hunters, filed a lawsuit in 2017 challenging the Forest Service’s Record of Decision to implement the project. OHA’s claims that the project violated road density standards in the Ochoco National Forest Plan and didn’t adequately address protection for elk during calving and rutting seasons prevailed.

“It’s a great victory for OHA and for elk and elk habitat on the forest,” said OHA attorney Scott Jerger. “Judge Hernandez adopted and agreed with all of the Magistrate Judge’s rulings on OHA’s legal claims. The project is now officially dead, and the Forest Service must return to the drawing board to address the numerous legal deficiencies in its analysis.”

Jim Akenson, OHA’s conservation director, was pleased with the decision.

“It’s a good day for elk, hunters, and conservation,” said Akenson. “OHA is not opposed to responsible OHV use, we are just opposed to the disturbance and displacement of elk in critical habitat that would move them off public land onto nearby private land, where they would get themselves into trouble. We filed this lawsuit as a last resort.”

The Ochoco Mountains have historically been some of the best habitat for deer and elk in Oregon. Information published on ODFW’s website reveals that hunting contributes more than $14 million to central Oregon’s tourism economy and more than $104 million to the statewide tourism economy on an annual basis.

OHA’s successful suit was funded by OHA’s Hunter’s Victory Fund and Wildlife SuperFund, with major contributions from OHA’s Bend Chapter and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

OHA (oregonhunters.org) is the state’s largest Oregon-based pro-hunting organization, with 10,000 members and 26 chapters statewide. Its mission is “Protecting Oregon’s wildlife, habitat and hunting heritage.”

Deadline To Report 2018 Oregon Big Game, Turkey Tags Extended To Mid-April

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

The deadline to report all 2018 big game and turkey tags has been extended until April 15, 2019 (from Jan. 31) to give hunters more time to report under ODFW’s new licensing system.

OREGON HUNTERS WILL HAVE THROUGH MID-APRIL TO REPORT THEIR 2018 RESULTS. THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY’S CARL LEWALLEN HARVESTED THIS NICE BLACKTAIL DURING THE LAST HOUR OF THE LATE SEASON. (HUNTING PHOTO CONTEST)

The new deadline applies to all 2018 deer, elk, cougar, bear, antelope and turkey tags. Anyone who purchased one of these tags needs to report—even if they were not successful or didn’t go hunting.

Hunters who fail to report a 2018 deer or elk tag by the new deadline of April 15, 2019 will have to pay $25 when they go to purchase their 2020 annual hunting license.

Hunters are encouraged to report online at ODFW’s Licensing page after using the “Verify/Look Up Account” button to find their account in the new licensing system. After verifying their account, hunters will be able to report and see other account information such as preference points, previous year’s application history, and have the option of going paperless for 2019 license and tags.

Hunters can also report by phone to ODFW’s Licensing Division (503) 947-6101. However, ODFW’s Licensing Division is currently experiencing high call volumes from hunters who want to report by phone or have questions about the new licensing system. The deadline extension will help reduce hold times for customers.

Some hunters who inadvertently created a new account online (rather than verifying/looking up their existing account) are not seeing their tags to report on in the online system. Hunters who are experiencing this problem should send an email to ODFW.Websales@state.or.us that includes the ODFW ID# for their incorrect account and their Hunter/Angler ID# (printed on all licenses/tags from 2018 and prior). The problem will be corrected with 10 business days and hunters will be able to report online.

“We are extending the deadline to provide better customer service to our hunters as they get familiar with our new licensing system,” said Doug Cottam, ODFW Wildlife Division Administrator. “We really appreciate hunters taking time to report, even if they did not hunt or weren’t successful.”

Ways to report your big game or turkey tag:

Online – The fastest and easiest way to report. Go to MyODFW.com and click the green “Buy License/Report Hunt” button. If you have not already verified your account on the new system, use the “Verify/Look Up Account” button (see image) and enter your Hunter/Angler ID (printed on all 2018 and prior licenses and tags) as the ODFW ID, or your email or phone number plus last name and date of birth, to find your profile in the system. After completing account verification online, go under Outcome Reporting (see image) and click “Mandatory Reporting” or “Hunting & Fishing Outcome Reporting” to complete your reports for each big game or turkey tag. Note that a unique email address (not shared by anyone else in the system, including a relative) is required for anyone age 12 and older to create an online account and report online.

Computers are also available at some ODFW offices (Adair Village/Corvallis, Bend, Clackamas, La Grande, Portland-Sauvie Island, Roseburg, Salem Headquarters, Springfield, Tillamook) to Verify/Look Up your account and report online.

By phone – Call ODFW Licensing Division at (503) 947-6101 during regular business hours (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.). Have your 2018 license or tag available to provide your Hunter/Angler ID number. ODFW staff who take your call will take a few extra minutes to verify your account in the new system. Important note: the number printed in 2018 Oregon Big Game Regulations (1-866-947-6339) was managed by the old license vendor so reports can no longer be accepted at that number.

The information hunters provide through these reports is used to help understand big game population trends and for setting controlled hunt tag numbers and hunting seasons. Hunter reports help ODFW determine how many people went hunting, how many big game animals were harvested, plus antler points and success rates for each hunt—information which is posted at ODFW’s Big Game Hunting Harvest Statistics page at https://myodfw.com/articles/big-game-hunting-harvest-statistics

Chance to win special big game tag

Hunters that report on time are entered into a drawing to win a special big game tag. ODFW selects three names each year and the winners can choose a deer, elk, or pronghorn tag. Hunters who win get an expanded hunt area and extended season, similar to auction and raffle tags.

Salvaging Roadkilled Deer, Elk Set To Begin In Oregon; Here Are Rules, Where To Get Free Permit

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, deer and elk struck by vehicles can be legally salvaged in Oregon using a free online permit that will be available at www.odfw.com/roadkill

BACON-WRAPPED ELK STEAKS SALVAGED FROM A ROADKILLED ELK IN WASHINGTON. (RANDY HART JR.)

The change in law was required after the passage of Senate Bill 372 during the 2017 Oregon State Legislative session.

Following are the key regulations to follow to legally salvage a roadkilled deer or elk:

·        The free online permit application found at www.odfw.com/roadkill must be submitted within 24 hours of salvaging a deer or elk. (Note that completing an online permit is not allowed until the animal is actually salvaged as specific information about location, date and time of salvage is required.)

·        Only deer and elk accidently struck by a vehicle may be salvaged and for human consumption of the meat only. Intentionally hitting a deer or elk remains unlawful.

·        White-tailed deer may only be salvaged from Douglas County and east of the crest of the Cascade Mountains because of the protected status for white-tailed deer in most of western Oregon.

·        The entire carcass of the animal including gut piles must be removed from the road and road right of way during the salvage.

·        Any person (not just the driver who struck the animal) may salvage a deer or elk killed by a vehicle.

·        Only the driver of the vehicle that struck the animal may salvage an animal in cases where a deer or elk is injured and then humanely dispatched to alleviate suffering; law enforcement must also be immediately notified as required by state Statute (ORS 498.016).

·        Antlers and head of all salvaged animals must be surrendered to an ODFW office within five business days of taking possession of the carcass; see office location list at www.odfw.com/roadkill and call ahead to schedule an appointment. (Tissue samples from the head will be tested as part of the state’s surveillance program for Chronic Wasting Disease.)

·        While antlers and heads must be surrendered, other parts such as the hide may be kept by the roadkill salvage permit holder.

·        Any person who salvages a deer or elk will consume the meat at their own risk. ODFW/OSP will not perform game meat inspections for any deer or elk salvaged under the roadkill permit program.

·        The state of Oregon is also not liable for any loss or damage arising from the recovery, possession, use, transport or consumption of deer or elk salvaged.

·        Sale of any part of the salvaged animal is prohibited, but transfer to another person will be allowed with a written record similar to transferring game meat.

The new rules apply only to deer and elk. It remains unlawful to salvage other game mammals including pronghorn antelope, bears and cougars. Find out more at www.odfw.com/roadkill

WDFW, UW Set To Again Collar Deer, Elk, Wolves, Lions For 5-yr NE WA Predator-Prey Study

THE FOLLOWING IS A WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE PRESS RELEASE

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) staff will start capturing deer in northeast Washington in early December and fit them with radio-collars as part of an ongoing predator-prey study that began two years ago.

EARLIER THIS YEAR A TRAIL CAMERA IN STEVENS COUNTY CAPTURED WHAT’S BELIEVED TO BE A SMACKOUT PACK YEARLING PACKING FAWN QUARTERS BACK TO THE DEN. (JEFF FLOOD)

The study, scheduled to run at least five years, will help to assess the impact of wolves, cougars, and other predators on deer and elk by monitoring the interactions of all species.

This winter, researchers hope to capture at least 30 white-tailed deer in Stevens and Pend Oreille counties – primarily on public land, but also on private land where WDFW has secured landowner permission. Capture techniques include trapping animals using bait, entangling them in drop nets, and darting them with immobilization drugs from the ground.

The study plan also calls for radio-collaring wolves, cougars, bobcats, and coyotes in Stevens, Pend Oreille, and Okanogan counties. Some wolves are already radio-collared in those areas, but researchers want to maintain collars on at least two wolves in each of the packs within the study area. Cougar capture work with the use of dogs will get underway in late November, followed by bobcat and coyote captures using box traps and foothold traps after Jan. 1.

Collaborating researchers from the University of Washington (UW) will join WDFW research scientists and field biologists to monitor radio-collared ungulates and track their movements, distribution, habitat use, diet, productivity and survival. Cougars will be monitored to learn about changes in social behavior, population dynamics, prey selection and movements in areas where wolves also occur.

State wildlife managers ask that hunters who harvest a radio-collared deer or elk – and residents who encounter a dead radio-collared animal – contact WDFW’s Eastern Region office in Spokane Valley (509-892-1001), so researchers can recover the collar and collect biological samples from the carcasses.

Funding for the five-year study comes from a 2015 state legislative appropriation, federal Pittman-Robertson funds, and state wildlife funds.The UW also secured National Science Foundation grant funds for part of the project.

New Report Paints Rough Future For Northwest Fish, Wildlife

A new report paints a rough go of it for fish, shellfish and wildlife in the Northwest.

Released over the recent long holiday weekend, the federal Fourth National Climate Assessment looks at economic and other impacts that warming and drying could have on our region by the end of this century.

It projects that Washington salmon habitat will be reduced by 22 percent under a scenario that includes continued high emissions of greenhouse gases.

A SCREEN GRAB FROM A USGS VIDEO SHOWS A SOCKEYE SUFFERING FROM LESIONS SWIMMING AROUND DRANO LAKE IN AN ATTEMPT TO ESCAPE THE HOT WATERS OF THE MAINSTEM COLUMBIA RIVER DURING A DEADLY EARLY SUMMER 2015 HEATWAVE. (USGS)

“This habitat loss corresponds to more than $3 billion in economic losses due to reductions in salmon populations and decreases in cold-water angling opportunities,” the report states.

Higher fall and winter flows and less and warmer water in spring and summer will impact Chinook, coho, sockeye, pink and chum salmon spawning, hatchery production and reintroduction efforts.

“Recreational razor clamming on the coast is also expected to decline due to cumulative effects of ocean acidification, harmful algal blooms, higher temperatures, and habitat degradation,” it adds.

A 2016 bloom affecting Washington’s South Coast led to a 25 percent increase in the number of local families in need of food bank help due to the importance of digging dollars, the report states.

It says that deer and elk may actually thrive due to less winterkill and improving habitat because of increased wildfires, but could also be impacted by “increases in disease and disease-carrying insects and pests.”

“If deer and elk populations increase, the pressures they place on plant ecosystems (including riparian systems) may benefit from management beyond traditional harvest levels,” it states.

With droughts and more drying hitting key wetland areas, “Further management of waterfowl habitat is projected to be important to maintain past hunting levels,” the report adds.

At its heart for the region, the assessment states that what we saw in 2015 due to the Blob — very low snowpack, early meltout, high summer temperatures, large wildfires — could be a prelude of what is to come.

“Low summer stream levels and warm waters, which amplified a naturally occurring fish disease, resulted in widespread fish die-offs across the region, including hundreds of thousands of sockeye salmon in the Columbia and Snake River Basins. And for the first time ever, Oregon implemented a statewide daily fishing curtailment beginning in July 2015 to limit added stress on the fish from fishing,” the report reminds readers.

In the ocean, that summer saw “the largest harmful algal bloom recorded” and it hyperlinks to a 2016 paper that lists cool-water species such as subarctic copepods, krill, Dungeness, mussels, salmon and groundfish as Blob losers while tropical copepods, market squid, California rockfish and tuna were winners because of the warm waters.

“This is worrisome because the [2013-15 warm water anomaly] may be a harbinger of things to come. As [sea surface temperatures] continue to rise with increasing global temperatures, many of the same scenarios observed during the WWA may be repeated, with dramatic ecological and economic consequences,” that paper in Oceanography states.

Required by Congress to be produced at regular intervals, this fourth climate assessment was worked on by 13 federal agencies with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as the lead.

As for what to do to head off the changes, the report states:

“Communities, governments, and businesses are working to reduce risks from and costs associated with climate change by taking action to lower greenhouse gas emissions and implement adaptation strategies. While mitigation and adaptation efforts have expanded substantially in the last four years, they do not yet approach the scale considered necessary to avoid substantial damages to the economy, environment, and human health over the coming decades.”

Crews Rescue Blacktail Doe, Elk Calf From Cowlitz County Holes

What are the odds?

Not just one but two big game critters were fished out of separate holes in the ground in Cowlitz County this month.

A hunter, his son and nearby landowner are being credited with helping save an elk calf that fell into a sinkhole, while hatchery crews that heard something odd found a momma blacktail in an old unused valve box.

The incidents occurred not far from each other, the latter at a facility on the Kalama River and the former on state land to the south above Woodland.

“It’s so unusual,” says Tammy Conklin, a WDFW conflict specialist.

She says that the hunter and his son were out on Nov. 8 during the Westside modern firearms elk hunt when the man decided to check on a sinkhole he’d found the year before.

WDFW IMAGES SHOW THE ELK CALF IN THE HOLE RIGHT AFTER IT WAS DARTED WITH AN IMMOBILIZATION DRUG AND CONFLICT SPECIALIST TODD JACOBSON PREPARING IT TO BE HOISTED OUT. (WDFW)

When they looked into the 10-foot-deep hole, a dirty-faced calf looked up at them.

Conklin and fellow specialist Todd Jacobson responded to the scene with “a very long ladder,” and meanwhile the hunter knew an adjacent landowner with a tractor.

With a crew and equipment assembled, the calf was darted in the rump and Jacobson climbed down into the hole to roll it onto a tarp, loop tow straps around it and then connect those to a chain and a cable off a winch on the tractor.

The animal was then hoisted up.

It wasn’t clear how long the calf was down there, but Conklin said that after it recovered from being immobilized it looked OK and she wonders, but doesn’t know, if it’s mother was somewhere nearby.

“It was pretty incredible,” she says, praising the hunter and landowner. “We couldn’t have done it without them.”

As for the deer, two weekends ago workers at the Kalama Falls Hatchery heard a noise, went to investigate and found a doe had apparently somehow flipped a leaf-covered piece of plywood and fallen into a 6- to 7-foot-deep valve box.

NOT VERY FAR AWAY FROM WHERE THE ELK FELL IN A HOLE, A DOE FOUND ITSELF IN A CISTERN AT WDFW’S KALAMA FALLS HATCHERY, NEEDING RESCUE AS WELL. (WDFW)

As they were busy spawning fall Chinook, they dropped some grass into the hole and phoned the situation in to the regional WDFW office, and the next day wildlife biologists Eric Holman, Nicholle Stephens and another came out.

Once the doe was darted, a tow strap was used to lift her up, and soon she was back on her feet, taking some very hungry bites.

“Hatchery staff members reported that they had been seeing the deer onsite regularly with two fawns and had been seeing the fawns alone for the past several days,” WDFW reported. “It is unknown how long the doe was in the hole, but she appeared to be in good condition with no injuries.”

Kudos the whole way ’round!

Washington Game Wardens Work Through Night To Save Bull Elk

A pair of Washington game wardens pulled an extra shift this past weekend, and it had nothing to do with the very busy rifle deer opener.

Rather, it was to untangle an elk — then make sure the heavily sedated animal didn’t die afterwards.

WDFW OFFICER BLAKE TUCKER TENDS TO A BULL ELK THAT GOT ENTANGLED IN FENCING, THEN WENT INTO HEAVY SEDATION AND REQUIRED PROPPING UP TO KEEP BREATHING. (WDFW)

It all started Saturday afternoon when Sgt. Danyl Klump got a text from a Wenatchee-area landowner that a bull had wrapped itself in barbed wire up in the Stemilt Basin, so he tasked Officers Blake Tucker and Will Smith, who had been on duty since that morning, with freeing the animal.

“It had gone through a fence, ripped out a handful of fence posts and wrapped around a tree,” says Klump.

It’s believed it could have been tangled up for as many as two days.

“The timing was horrible, but you can’t leave a bull elk like that,” Klump says.

Tucker and Smith arrived on the scene and drugged the seven-point — “You don’t want a massive bull elk thrashing its antlers” — and were able to get the wire off by 9 p.m., when they texted their boss that they should clear the incident in 45 minutes.

So Klump was a little surprised to wake up early Sunday morning and see they’d just sent him a follow-up email that they were still with the elk.

WDFW OFFICER WILL SMITH HOLDS THE BULL’S ANTLERS. (WDFW)

It had gone into heavy sedation, requiring Tucker and Smith to stay with it.

“They maintained its breathing through the night. They used logs and sticks to prop it up,” Klump said.

If they hadn’t, its lungs could have been crushed and collapsed, killing it, he says.

“When you sedate something, you take responsibility for it,” Klump says.

He says that sometimes very large bears will react the same way, even when the recommended dosages are followed.

Smith and Tucker took turns being with the elk and warming up in their rigs as coyotes howled through the night.

“None of us expected it to be that long into the evening,” says Klump.

He says that at one point the officers thought they’d lost the elk. The bull exhaled and didn’t inhale for a long while, but then took a shallow breath.

THE OFFICERS WORK TO FREE THE ELK FROM WIRE. (WDFW)

As the elk came out of it, the officers helped it stand, then gave it a slap to get moving.

“It slowly walked off, then ate some grass,” says Klump.

It was a successful end to a workday that had begun the morning before.

“They had basically a 23-hour shift,” he says.

For the sergeant the rescue fit right into part of WDFW’s mission — “(to) preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems …” — even if it came at the most inopportune moment, the opening weekend of modern firearm deer season, the most popular single hunt in the state.

“Often we get the call too late and the animal dies or the coyotes get it,” Klump says.

Not this time, thanks to two dedicated public — and wildlife — servants.

“They went way above and beyond,” he says of Smith and Tucker. “I’m very proud of these guys.”

Editor’s note: Our apologies for misspelling the last name of Sgt. Dan Klump in the initial version of this blog.

Here Are Oregon’s Rules For Salvaging Roadkilled Deer, Elk

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

The Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted administrative rules for the salvage of roadkilled deer and elk during its meeting in Klamath Falls today. The new rules are due to the passage of SB 372 by the 2017 Oregon State Legislature and take effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

ELK STEAKS FROM ONE OF THE FIRST ROADKILLED ELK SALVAGED WHEN WASHINGTON’S PROGRAM BEGAN SEVERAL YEARS AGO. (RANDY HART JR.)

Highlights of the new rules include:

·        Deer and elk accidentally stuck by a vehicle may be salvaged for consumption only. Intentionally hitting a deer or elk in order to salvage it remains unlawful.

·        Anyone who salvages a roadkilled deer or elk must complete a free online permit within 24 hours of salvaging the animal and provide information including their name, contact info, where and when salvage occurred, species and gender of animal salvaged, and if they were driver that struck animal.

·        Antlers and head of all salvaged animals will need to be surrendered to an ODFW office within 5 business days of taking possession of the carcass. This rule will meet the requirements of SB 372 and will contribute to ODFW’s surveillance program for Chronic Wasting Disease.

·        The entire carcass of the animal including gut piles must be removed from the road and road right of way during the salvage.

·        In cases where a deer or elk is struck, injured and then put down to alleviate suffering, only the driver of the vehicle that struck the animal may salvage the carcass and law enforcement must be immediately notified. (This is a requirement per Oregon Revised Statute 498.016 and SB 372.)

·        Any person who salvages a deer or elk will consume the meat at their own risk. ODFW/OSP will not perform game meat inspections for any deer or elk salvaged under these rules.

·        Sale of any part of the salvaged animal is prohibited, but transfer to another person will be allowed with a written record similar to transferring game meat. 

·        The state of Oregon is not liable for any loss or damage arising from the recovery, possession, use, transport or consumption of deer or elk salvaged.

 

The Commission also approved the purchase of 214 acres of property adjacent to the Klamath Wildlife Area and the 560-acre Edmunds Well property near the Summer Lake Wildlife Area.

The Commission is the policy-making body for fish and wildlife issues in Oregon. Its next meeting is a joint meeting with Washington’s Fish and Wildlife Commission on Nov. 1 in Vancouver, Wash.

Oregon Fish And Wildlife Commission Set To Adopt Road-kill Salvage Rules

THE FOLLOWING IS A PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

The Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet Friday, Oct. 12 in Klamath Falls at the Running Y Ranch Ponderosa Room, 500 Running Y Road.

The meeting starts at 8 a.m. and follows this agenda, https://www.dfw.state.or.us/agency/commission/minutes/18/10_oct/index.asp

The Commission will be asked to adopt administrative rules to allow the salvage of roadkilled deer and elk beginning Jan. 1, 2019. The new rules are due to the passage of SB 372 by the 2017 Oregon State Legislature. Highlights include:

·        Deer and elk accidentally stuck by a vehicle may be salvaged for consumption only. Intentionally hitting a deer or elk in order to salvage it remains unlawful.

(ERIC BELL)

·        Anyone who salvages a roadkilled deer or elk must complete a free online permit within 24 hours of salvaging the animal and provide information including their name, contact info, where and when salvage occurred, species and gender of animal salvaged, and if they were driver that struck animal.

·        Antlers and head of all salvaged animals will need to be surrendered to an ODFW office within 5 business days of taking possession of the carcass. This rule will meet the requirements of SB 372 and will contribute to ODFW’s surveillance program for Chronic Wasting Disease.

·        The entire carcass of the animal including gut piles must be removed from the road and road right of way during the salvage.

·        In cases where a deer or elk is struck, injured and then put down to alleviate suffering, only the driver of the vehicle that struck the animal may salvage the carcass and law enforcement must be immediately notified. (This is a requirement per Oregon Revised Statute 498.016 and SB 372.)

·        Any person who salvages a deer or elk will consume the meat at their own risk. ODFW/OSP will not perform game meat inspections for any deer or elk salvaged under these rules.

·        Sale of any part of the salvaged animal is prohibited, but transfer to another person will be allowed with a written record similar to transferring game meat. 

·        The state of Oregon is not liable for any loss or damage arising from the recovery, possession, use, transport or consumption of deer or elk salvaged.

 The Commission will consider the purchase of 214 acres of property adjacent to the Klamath Wildlife Area and the 560-acre Edmunds Well property near the Summer Lake wildlife Area.

The Commission’s agenda for Oct. 12 originally included plans to adopt rules related to the destruction of forfeited firearms from wildlife law violations, but that agenda item has been delayed until a future meeting.

On Thursday, Oct. 11, The Commission will also tour several projects in the Klamath Falls Area including the Green Diamond Travel Management Area and Klamath Fish Hatchery. Members of the public can join the tour but must provide their own transportation and lunch. Meet at the Running Y Resort front lobby at 8 a.m. to join the tour. See the tour agenda at https://bit.ly/2yf9ZJ7

A public forum will be held on Friday morning at the start of the meeting. Anyone seeking to testify on issues not on the formal agenda may do so by making arrangements with the ODFW Director’s Office, at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting, by calling 800-720-6339 or 503-947-6044.

OSP Wildlife Troopers’ August Newsletter Details Interesting Case

Not all game warden work is an open and shut case.

A bighorn sheep seized in late summer by Oregon wildlife troopers was later returned to the hunter after video evidence showed her first shot had in fact killed it.

(NICK MYATT, ODFW)

The incident is detailed in the August monthly newsletter of the state police’s Fish and Wildlife Division, with a trooper out of the Lakeview office initially responding to a report that a ram had been shot by someone without a tag.

According to the reporting individual, the shooter had twice fired at and missed the wild sheep, and then a person accompanying the tagholder had fired and downed the animal.

When the trooper met the pair as they came out of the field with the bighorn, he found that the hunter had failed to validate her once-in-a-lifetime tag and cited her for it. While the other admitted to shooting at the bighorn lest it get away, they claimed they had in fact missed it.

Nonetheless, both the rifle and ram were seized by the officer.

But the case wasn’t closed quite yet.

“Hours later, a video from an unrelated hunter group was located and it showed the sheep was killed by the first shot which was from the lawful tag holder,” OSP’s newsletter states.

No word on the gun, but with the video evidence, troopers were able to return the sheep to the hunter.

While that case featured interesting twists and turns, others written up in the August report are more straight ahead.

Here are some of those cases:

A F&W Trooper received a call regarding five elk being shot by three male subjects. Troopers responded to the location. Subsequent to an interview, a male subject admitted he shot an elk for himself and an elk for his wife. Ultimately three male subjects killed five elk but only had three tags. It was unknown which male subject killed the fifth elk as they were all shooting into a herd of an estimated 100 elk. The Troopers seized two elk and a rifle as evidence. The male subject who killed the two elk was cited for Lend, Borrow or Sell Big Game Tag and Take/Possession of Antlerless Elk. The female was cited for Lend, Borrow or Sell Big Game Tag. The two other male subjects were both cited for Aiding/Counseling in a Wildlife Offense.

A F&W Trooper observed a subject angling on the North Santiam River in Linn County near a Forest Service Road. The investigation revealed that the subject had caught and retained 21 hatchery trout and had a fish on his line when he was contacted. The subject was criminally cited for Exceeding Daily Bag Limit of Fish and a fishing pole was seized. The trout were seized and donated to the Union Gospel Mission in Salem.

A F&W Trooper was working an evening shellfish patrol on Nehalem Bay when he contacted a group of subjects crabbing from the Wheeler City dock at dusk. The subjects were just leaving and had a white cooler with them. When asked to show their catch the subjects revealed 20 male Dungeness crab, 18 of which were measured and found to be undersize by at least an inch. Two subjects were cited for Take/Possession of Undersize Dungeness Crab. One subject gave the Trooper a Washington Driver’s license and a resident shellfish license. The subject was additionally cited for Falsely Applied for License or Tag.

A F&W Trooper noticed that a local resident had built a large beach out into an essential salmonid habitat stream. The Trooper contacted the landowner who admitted to using about five yards of sand to construct the beach. The case was referred to Department of State Lands for civil action and the landowner is currently working with DSL and ODFW to repair the damage he caused.

Elsewhere is a blurb that describes how troopers helped two families who experienced flat tires in the Ochocos, including loaning a portable air compressor to one man so he could safely make his way back home to Redmond and then later return the device, all on the promise of a handshake.

Great job, troopers!